The Boy who could see without eyes

Ben Underwood: The Boy who could see without eyes

Ben Underwood: The Boy who could see without eyes

  • Ben Underwood from USA was born as a healthy boy in 1992, but at the age of two, Ben developed a type of cancer in his eyes called retinal cancer or Retinoblastoma.
  • At the age of three, his eyes was forced to be removed because of the risk of the cancer spreading by the optical nerve to the brain.
  • Ben’s family refused to let him be held back because of the lack of eyes, his mom told him he could see by touching or hearing.
  • Instead of becoming completely blind, he started to ”see” things by listening to the sounds around him. He began hearing the difference between buildings and alleys.
  • At the age of five, Ben discovered something called ”Ecolocation”. He was able to detect the location of objects by making clicking noises with his tongue.
  • He could ride a bicycle, play basket, go inlining and writes text with the help of a braille-writer and text to audio-software.
  • Ben refused to use a dog or a cane as he didn’t considered himself blind or handicapped. * Ben’s ears has normal hearing, despite having a navigating-technique similiar to that of dolphins, bats or even sonar.
  • Daniel Keesh is a mobility trainer who wanted Ben to realise the dangers of not using a cane as well. Daniel is also blind and has developed a similar clicking-system like Ben, but his also involves the use of a cane.
  • Ben passed away on January 19th 2009, at the age of 16 because of the same cancer that took his sight.

Sources and further reading:

Ben Underwood Foundation


Documentary: Extraordinary People: The boy who sees without eyes @ Youtube:

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